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CSU / Psychology / PSY 325 / What is funder’s first law?

What is funder’s first law?

What is funder’s first law?


School: Colorado State University
Department: Psychology
Course: Psychology of Personality
Professor: Karla gingerich
Term: Winter 2016
Tags: Psychology, personality, and PSY 325
Cost: 50
Name: PSY 325 Unit 1 Study Guide
Description: These are the best answers to the professor's suggested study questions. My source for answering these questions was primarily the textbook, with some class notes mixed in. These questions cover Unit 1 (chapters 1-4).
Uploaded: 02/10/2016
7 Pages 14 Views 7 Unlocks

Study Questions for the Textbook: Unit 1 Gingerich PSY325 Spring 2016

What is funder’s first law?

Highlighted= key terms; Highlighted= pay attention to

Chapter 1

1. What would be so bad about having One Big Theory to explain  personality?  

a. Just as a theory that accounts for certain things well will not  particularly explain everything else so well, a theory that tries to  explain almost everything (the One Big Theory) would probably not  provide the best explanation for any one thing.

2. What is Funder’s First Law? What is the personality  psychologist’s biggest advantage? Biggest challenge?  a. “Great strengths are usually great weaknesses, and surprisingly  often the opposite is true as well.”

b. Personality psychology’s biggest advantage: it has a broad mandate  to account for the psychology of whole persons and real-life  

What is the personality psychologist’s biggest advantage?

Don't forget about the age old question of Compare and contrast Qualitative and Quantitative research (what types of questions are asked in each?

concerns. Biggest problem: in the wrong hands, it can lead to over inclusive or unfocused research. Even in the best hands, it can seem  to fall short of what it ought to accomplish.

3. What is the author’s goal for chapter 1?  

a. "There are no perfect indicators of personality. There are only  clues, and clues are ambiguous."  

4. After reading chapter 1: Do personality psychologists appreciate  individual differences? Or are they more interested in universals  and similarities among people? How does their emphasis compare to other subfields in Psychology?  

a. This field studies & appreciates individual differences We also discuss several other topics like iu psy

b. In class, we will agree that there are always exceptions to  generalizations of people

What are funder’s second and third laws?

Chapter 2

1. What are Funder’s Second and Third Laws? (The Second Law  should remind you of the goal of chapter 1.)  

a. Second Law: There are no perfect indicators of personality; there  are only clues, and clues are ambiguous.

b. Third Law: Something beats nothing, 2 times out of three. 2. What is the fish-and-water effect? What kind of data does this  effect relate to?  

a. At a basic level, it means that there is a particularly powerful reason  to expect one’s own personality to be particularly difficult to see. i. Named as such after the cliché that fish do not realize they are wet because they are always surrounded by water We also discuss several other topics like daniel rajaratnam

b. The same personality traits that are obvious to others might become nearly invisible to ourselves.  

3. Although there can be overlap, which type of personality data is  usually represented by:

Page 2

□ asking people to fill out questionnaires about their thoughts  and intentions?  

o Self-report Data (S data)

□ other people’s subjective judgments?

o Informant Data (I data)

□ letters of recommendation?  

o Informant Data

□ archival records, such as college transcripts or tax records?  o Life data (L data)

□ looking at people’s bookshelves and their FB pages?  o Life data (personal space)

□ people’s diaries?  

o S-data (or L-data in terms of their personal space)

□ the EAR (electronically activated recorder)?  

o Behavioral data

□ collecting data in a lab?  

o B-data

□ measurements of blood pressure?  

o L-data (it just is the way it is)

4. What does it mean if a personality measurement is reliable? Does  reliability relate more to measuring traits, or states? What  factors might call into question the reliability of a measurement of personality? What makes a measurement more reliable?  

a. Reliability= measurements that reflect what you are trying to asses and are not affected by anything else Don't forget about the age old question of the long-standing traits and patterns that propel individuals to consistently think, feel, and behave in specific ways are known as ________.

i. If a study is not reliable, it has a lot of measurement error (or  error variance), meaning it is being overly influenced by things it shouldn’t be (i.e., extraneous influences)

b. Reliability means measuring traits—which provide consistent data on multiple occasions

i. Measuring someone’s state at any given time then this sudden event is not guaranteed to be consistent, because someone  can come to a lab in any given mood (for any reason) and  

therefore the results are not reliable at all times, only for that  given moment

5. How is personality a construct?  We also discuss several other topics like dinitrogen hexoxide
We also discuss several other topics like chemistry 1411

a. A construct is something that cannot be directly seen or touched,  but which affects and helps to explain many different things that are  visible

i. Nobody has ever seen or touched intelligence, for example,  but it affects many aspects of behavior and performance, such  as GPA or test scores, or real-life achievements

6. Why are college men “unusual?” as research participants? How is the U.S. a “WEIRD” country?

Page 3

a. Most men are less likely to volunteer than women, which makes the  men who actually volunteer and participate unusual compared to  “most men” (and yet, researchers generalize from their participants  who are male to the entire male population).

b. The U.S. is a “WEIRD” (Western, Educated, Industrialized, Rich,  Democratic) country because we lack in ethnic and cultural diversity  that prevents psychological studies from generalizing results to all  minority groups (since it is difficult to find an equal number of  minority, poor, and underrepresented participants).

7. Psychology classes often remind students about the limitations of  the correlational method, and present the experimental method  as superior. Explain why that conclusion is wrong.  

a. Experimental designs have 1 advantage: the ability to ascertain  what causes what.

i. But this leads to a problem: the 3rd variable problem 

b. We are unable to tell the direction of correlation with correlational  studies.

c. The conclusion that experimental is better is wrong because  experimental and correlational designs both have advantages and  disadvantages—therefore, neither is superior. A complete research  program would include both.

Chapter 3 (pages 67-91)

1. Which type of data (SILB) are most commonly provided by  personality tests?

a. Most personality tests provide S-data (Pg. 70)

i. This is because most survey questions are a “self-monitoring”  scale, in which the person answers for their own behavior

2. What is the difference between projective and objective  personality assessments? Give some examples of projective  assessments. Which projective test seems to have more validity?  

a. Projective: Can be answered or interpreted in any way; it’s not clear  what information you are giving

i. You don’t know what you are reporting

ii. Example: Rorschach Inkblot test or TAT (Thematic Appreciation Test)

b. Objective: You typically know what you’re reporting in an S-data test i. These are tests that can be answered “yes” or “no”, or  


ii. Example: rating of myself (like taking the Big Five Personality  Test for yourself)

3. Describe and distinguish between the three methods  psychologists use when they construct an objective personality  assessment.

a. The Rational Method: four conditions must hold

Page 4

i. Each item must mean the same thing to the person who takes  the test as it did to the psychologist who wrote it

ii. The person who completes the form must be able to make an  accurate self assessment

iii. The person who completes the test must be willing to report  his self-assessment accurately and truthfully

iv. All of the items on the test must be valid indicators of what the tester is trying to measure

b. The Factor Analytic method: factor analysis identifies groups of  things that seem to have something in common

i. Used to identify groups of things that seem to have something  in common

1. What they have in common is called a factor. 

ii. Factor analysis is used to construct tests and to determine how many fundamental traits exist (ex. The Big Five Personality  Traits)

c. The Empirical Method:

i. Allows reality to speak for itself

ii. Items distinguish between known groups

iii. Ex.: The MMPI

iv. Behavioral data

v. Basic assumption: that certain kinds of people answer certain  questions on personality inventories in distinctive ways

4. As you read about the Woodworth Personality Data Sheet on page 80, think about what conditions would be necessary for it to fulfill  its purpose. See if you were able to identify any of the conditions  which are explained on page 81.

a. See ‘a.’ above: the rational method. These are the 4 conditions 5. In what way is factor analysis pretty subjective?  

a. It is subjective because it allows people to identify groups that are  similar, which is up to interpretation as to what is “similar” or how  items can group together.

b. Also subjective in the second limitation of the factor analytic  approach, which is: once the computer has identified a cluster of  items as being related statistically, a human psychologist must still  decide how they are related conceptually (p. 85). Any choice  between labels is as much a matter of choice as it is mathematics or  science.

6. Why did psychologists developing personality tests using the  empirical method prefer to ignore the actual test items? In other  words, they were not concerned at all with the items’ face  validity. Why? And is that still true today?

a. According to the empirical approach to test construction, the reason  doesn’t matter in the slightest.  

b. Responses to empirically derived tests are difficult to fake

Page 5

i. You can’t answer in a way that will generate the score you  want (as opposed to personality tests being straightforward S data that can be changed)

c. Empirically derived tests are only as good as the criteria by which  they are developed or against which they are cross-validated d. Explaining to a layperson why certain questions are being asked can  be very difficult

i. It can cause problems with public relations and even the law 7. Why would low content validity be an advantage for tests such as  the MMPI?  

a. Because then creators of these tests wouldn’t have to explain to  judges or courtrooms that they are not interested in investigating  people’s eating habits and religious beliefs, for example, only that  they are interested in the correlates to the answers of these items

Chapter 4

1. Which design is by far the most common one used by trait  researchers?

a. The Trait Approach relies on correlational designs 

2. Read Kluckhohn & Murray’s quote on page 114. Is the modern  trait approach most associated with a, b, or c?  

a. It’s most associated with (b): that every man is, in certain aspects,  like “some other men” 

b. The trait approach assumes that in some real sense people are their  traits

3. Why did the students in Funder’s night class have such a different response to the “consistency” question than his day class  students?  

a. Night students had a different reaction because they were for the  most part, adult, working professionals, not 18-22 year old dorm  dwelling college kids

b. Older persons are themselves more consistent than younger people c. The stability of the differences between people increases with age d. Older people have started a career, families, and undertaken adult  

roles and responsibilities, which make for a consistent lifestyle that  makes it hard for them to remember how inconsistent (in their  personalities) they may have been in their younger days

4. After reading Mischel’s position, what led some personality  psychologists to conclude that personality doesn’t exist?  a. Some personality psychologists concluded that personality doesn’t  exist, based on 2 premises. (1) Is that situationists are right, that .40  is the upper limit for the predictability of a given behavior from  personality variables or behavior in other situations, and (2) That this upper limit is low.

Page 6

5. How does the author think research on personality could be  improved?  

a. Funder has 3 suggestions for improving this research:

i. Measure behavior in real life (outside of the laboratory)

ii. Check for variations in consistency

iii. Seek to predict behavioral trends rather than single actions 6. Does your author make a good case for the idea that a .40 is not a small correlation?

a. A correlation of .40 indicates that a prediction of behavior on a  personality-trait score is likely to be accurate 70% of the time.  People look at .40 as a small number, but the correlation is still fairly  large.

7. Why did Funder and Ozer look take a close look at classic studies  in social psychology (Festinger’s study of cognitive dissonance,  Darley & Latane’s study of bystander intervention, and Milgram’s  obedience study)? Why did they re-analyze the data, and what  did they find out?  

a. They chose to re-examine this statistics because in personality  research, the key statistic is the correlation coefficient, which is a  measure of effect size and not of statistical significance. Therefore,  the “personality coefficient” of .40 is ordinarily not comparable to  the effects found in these social psychological studies. They  converted the results of these studies to effect-size correlations.

b. They drew the conclusion that: These situational variables are  important determinants of behavior, but many personality variables  are important as well.

8. From your own experience, do the three personality variables  mentioned on page 139 predict happiness in relationships?  a. The 3 personality variables for successful relationships are: i. A low level of negative emotionality

ii. A high level of positive emotionality

iii. “Constraint”

b. Yes, these 3 variables can predict relationship success. I notice that  my partner and I fight more when I have a high level of negative  emotions and a low level of positivity.

9. Describe the ways in which personality and situations probably  interact (pp. 141-142).  

1. The effect of a personality variable may depend on the situation,  or vice versa.

2. Situations are not randomly populated: certain types of people go  to or find themselves in different types of situations.

3. The way people change situations by virtue of what they do in  them. The process by which people change situations, and then  react to those changes, can accelerate quickly.

Page 7

“Aggressive individuals created a more hostile and aggressive  environment for themselves”

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